Martyrs: Hanged, Steamrolled


This is probably one the most disturbing accounts of martyrdom I’ve read. The ultimate sacrifice was paid by Pastor Kim and his congregation in 1950s North Korea. This comes from “Jesus Freaks: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus, the Ultimate Jesus Freaks.”

For years, Pastor Kim and 27 of his flock of Korean saints had lived in hand-dug tunnels beneath the earth. Then as the communists were building a road, they discovered the Christians living underground.

The officials brought them out before a crowd of 30,000 in the village of Gok San for a public trial and execution. They were told, “Deny Christ, or you will die.” But they refused.

At this point the head Communist officer ordered four children from the group seized and had them prepared for hanging. With ropes tied around their small necks, the official again commanded the parents to deny Christ. null Not one of the believers would deny their faith. They told the children, we will see you in Heaven.” The children died quickly.

The officer then called for a steamroller to be brought in. He forced the Christians to lay on the ground in its path. As its engines revved, they were given one last chance to recant their faith in Jesus. Again they refused.

As the steamroller began to inch forward, the Christians began to sing a song they had often sung together. As their bones and bodies were crushed under the pressure of the massive rollers, their lips uttered the words:

“More love to thee, O Christ, more love to thee
Thee alone I seek, more love to thee
Let sorrow do its work, more love to thee
Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise
This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
More love, O Christ, to thee.”

The execution was reported in the North Korean press as an act of suppressing superstition.


  1. Some people deny that Christians suffer persecution. Others will grant that it happened long ago and far away. But it’s not true that it was only in the distant past. Communists and Muslims are torturing and murdering Christians even now.

  2. Storm – I don’t know of anyone who denies that people have been killed for their beliefs and are still being killed for their beliefs. Fun fact – not just Christians are killed for their beliefs! China is also persecuting non-Christians and Christians torture and murder Muslims! And some of these Christian martyrs are Orthodox or Catholic or at the very least Not Protestant, so they’re not True Christians! (at least in some circles they’re not TC, I’m not sure how you would parse this.)

    • Perdita…I’m not sure exactly what your point is…but, the fact that “not just Christians are killed for their beliefs” is not “fun”. And to compare current persecution of Christians in the world to the EXTREMELY rare instances of Christian wacko persecution of Muslims is astoundingly and/or willfully ignorant. Muslims are killing Christians, Jews, and even other Muslims by the thousands each year. This is an irrefutable fact…not hearsay. Christians are NOT murdering people of other faiths simply because they are not Christian. You may be able to dig up some obscure story where a so-called “Christian” has committed some atrocious act…but, it is so extremely rare…to say that it is remotely representative of a pattern of behavior in the world is absolutely delusional. There are currently anywhere from 180 to 220 MILLION radical muslims in the world. You would have to be deliberately deceitful to compare ANY other religion to Muslims when it comes to persecution of other faiths.

  3. Storm – In case I wasn’t clear, I do not condone what happened to those people and I certainly don’t want to minimize that atrocity.

    But I don’t really care what beliefs they had. Regardless of their beliefs what happened to them was wrong. It would be wrong no matter who was killed that way.

  4. What a waste of life. Thankfully we live in a country of religious toleration, where people are able to worship or not worship without fear of the government interfering. I for one hope that we stay that way.

    I’m curious Steve, should these people have simply just said they recant their faith, even though in their hearts they believed in Jesus. If God knows whats in your heart what harm is there in placating thugs with words?

  5. The Bible teaches throughout that it’s a privilege to be martyred for our Lord, it’s quite evident that they resounding expressed their agreement, in song.

  6. Perditia, I wonder what you might have said if you had seen the comment that an atheist made at Atheist Central. I mentioned about the torture and persecution, and a compassionate soul said, “Good. They deserve it”.

  7. A Soldier for Jesus,

    I would tell him that I disagree with what he wrote, and I’d explain why I disagree.

    I don’t feel the need to police atheists because the only thing I share in common with them, for sure, is that both of us answer “zero” to the question “how many gods do you believe in?”

    Atheism, unlike Christianity, does not contain a system of morality. If the person claimed to be a secular humanist, I think I’d be a bit more active in my condemnation of their statement.

  8. Granted, that question was directed to perdita.

    Also, I haven’t been on Atheist Central for about a couple of years now.

    I primarily try to call out hypocrisy. If the person in question claimed that torture was bad, and then claimed that it was good that people (of any background) were being tortured, I would view that person as a hypocrite, and react accordingly.

  9. Storm, I would assume it was trollish behavior and wouldn’t feed the trolls.

  10. That comment should not be there. Don’t know how that happened.

  11. Okay – I’m very confused about what’s happening to comments on this post, but I’ll try to answer Storm’s question that is no longer there.

    Some of us call Atheist Central, ‘the swamp’. The swamp has trollish behavior from Christians and atheists. Ray doesn’t seem to be very concerned about the tone of his blog, so I’m not sure why I should be. Sure, he’ll come out to shake his fist from time to time, but for the most part he ignores what happens in the comments. If the comment was from Bullhorn or someone like him? I wouldn’t say anything – it should be obvious the commentator was using, er, humorous hyperbole. If it was from one of the less hyperbolic? I would advise them to take a break from the blog. I honestly wouldn’t assume that they really felt that way.

    On this site, I had an off-topic comment siding with vintango re: Jim’s comments. (I really like you Jim, but I think vintango has a point.) I asked Steve to delete it because it went even further off-topic and I really don’t like commenting on the Evangie posts. (I left my Evangie Tale, instead.)

    Does this help?

    • Ray wrote a book again and it was published again. ( Ray Comfort has written over 45 books) It is called The Defenders Guide For Life’s Toughest Questions, in it he uses questions posed to him from nonbelievers. Many of the questions are taken from his blog at Atheist Central.

      I would highly recommend it to my fellow believers and nonbelievers.

  12. I will amend my comment: Ray is know to contribute to the trollish behavior on his blog.

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